EFFINGHAM COUNTY, IL-(EFFINGHAM RADIO)- Did you know that the 9-1-1 Telecommunicator is the first “first-responder” on the scene of an emergency?
9-1-1 Telecommunicators/Dispatchers answer the emergency calls and get help to the scene.
Your worst day is their work day.
In an emergency, seconds matter, so being knowledgeable and prepared can make all the difference.
By better understanding how the 9-1-1 system works, you can be better prepared should an emergency strike.
That’s why the month of April is recognized as National 9-1-1 Education Month.
Knowing the basics can help ease the stress of making a 9-1-1 emergency call.
First off, know when to call.
9-1-1 is for police, fire and medical emergencies.
After making the emergency call, provide your name, address or location of the emergency, telephone number, and type of emergency you are reporting.
Remain on the line and answer all of the 9-1-1 dispatcher’s questions.
Stay calm and speak clearly.
Rest assured that as you provide the information, the 9-1-1 dispatcher is generating a call for service and sending help your way.
Location, location, location.
Know your address!
If the problem is not occurring at your home, look for businesses or landmarks nearby.
While out travelling, watch for street signs, mile markers, and road names.
Unless you call 9-1-1 from a landline, the exact address of where you are calling from is not pinpointed.
When you call from a landline, the caller’s location and phone number is sent directly to the location’s Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP).
This allows help to be dispatched to the location even if the caller cannot communicate with the 9-1-1 call taker.
When making a wireless 9-1-1 call from a cell phone, the call is transmitted to the nearest cell tower, sometimes ringing into a different jurisdiction from where your emergency is actually taking place.
Knowing your location when making a wireless 9-1-1 call is extremely important as wireless service providers are only required to be accurate up to 300 meters, or the distance of up to 3 football fields.
Telecommunicators can’t stress enough to know your location.
Teach your kids from a young age their home address.
Tell your teen driver to watch for road signs and to be aware of their surroundings.
Post your address in the home such as on the refrigerator.
Post your address clearly and prominently at the end of your driveway or on your home.
These simple tips can save crucial time when getting help to you in an emergency.
Most people do not realize that 9-1-1 Telecommunicators in Effingham County are Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD) certified by the State of Illinois.
Often times, callers want to give just a brief description of what is going on and hang up right away.
Staying on the phone with the dispatcher and answering the series of questions they ask is important in providing the best possible care for your loved one.
9-1-1 dispatchers are EMD certified so they are able to provide pre-arrival care instructions such as CPR.
One the initial call comes in, the dispatcher tones out the appropriate services.
Dispatchers then obtain every bit of information that will help first responders be prepared all while being a calming presence letting the caller know they are not alone.
Having EMD certified 9-1-1 dispatchers in our area is a true bonus and could save a life.
During their eight to twelve hour shift, 9-1-1 dispatchers handle a wide variety of call types.
Unfortunately, several of those calls are 9-1-1 hang-up or misdial call that could easily be prevented.
If you ever dial 9-1-1 by accident, simply remain on the line and let the telecommunicator know it was a mistake.
If you hang up, the 9-1-1 call taker must call you back and try to determine if there is an emergency or not, hindering their ability to handle other ongoing emergencies.
Remember that cell phones no longer in services will still call 9-1-1.
Be sure to remove the battery if allowing children to play with the old phone.
Also, it’s important to note that calls to 9-1-1 must be made by calling and NOT TEXTING.
Throughout the month of April, 9-1-1 Telecommunicators will be visiting schools, daycares, and other organizations to share the importance of the 9-1-1 system.
If you would like to schedule a presentation, contact the 9-1-1 public educators at the Effingham City Police 217/347-0774 or at the Effingham County Sheriff’s Department 217/342-2101.
For additional info or tips, check out Effingham County 9-1-1’s webpage at 911effinghamcounty.org.